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Bushy Run land to be leased for farming

| Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, 8:55 p.m.

State officials are soliciting bids from people who want to farm a portion of the Bushy Run Battlefield state park that is not part of the historic battle site, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission said.

The commission is accepting sealed bids until Jan. 24 from farmers who want to lease 40 acres across Route 993 from the battle site on farm land formerly owned by the Lazar family. The minimum bid is $1,000 per year for a three-year lease, with the proceeds going into the commission's general, statewide preservation fund, spokesman Howard Pollman said.

The commission has received interest from several farmers who would like to use the land, he said.

“People are interested in farming, and this is the way to do it to be fair,” Pollman said of the commission's solicitation of bids. “You can't just take someone randomly and say, ‘You can farm,' and ‘You can't.'”

The bid process comes a few months after commission officials confirmed they also are negotiating a right-of-way agreement for park land south of Route 993 for Sunoco Logistics to install a pipeline. That line would be next to an existing pipeline owned by Dominion Transmission.

Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society president Bonnie Ramus said the land that the state is considering leasing was farmed as recently as about 15 years ago.

Though members of the heritage society are involved in giving tours of the site and organizing an annual re-enactment, they wouldn't benefit directly from a lease, she said.

“It has nothing to do with the heritage society, so if they get any money for leasing it, it wouldn't come to us,” Ramus said.

Ramus also said any potential farming operation wouldn't interfere with the society's activities at the battlefield site.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671.

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